How Do I Know My Drain is Blocked?

A blocked drain can quickly derail your daily routine, from showers turning into unintended baths to kitchen sinks filling up much faster than they drain.

Think you might be dealing with a blockage problem? The Relining Company is here to help you diagnose and resolve the issue with minimal fuss.

Catching these issues early and bringing in our professional plumbing team can save you from a much larger headache down the line. Let us handle the mess!

But first, let’s have a closer look at how to tell if you’re facing a blocked drain in your home.

Residental pipe relining Project for Paddington St, Paddington

Recognising the Common Signs of a Blocked Drain

Knowing the early signs of a blocked drain can help you prevent more serious plumbing issues from ruining your day. Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

  • Slow or Standing Water: If your sink, shower, or bathtub takes forever to drain or water pools around your feet, it’s a classic sign of a clog somewhere down the pipe.
  • Foul Smell: Bad smells coming from your drain are a telltale sign. This usually means trapped food, grease, or other debris is decaying inside your pipes.
  • Gurgling Noises: Odd gurgling sounds from your drains or toilet can be a sign of trapped air, a common side effect of system blockage.
  • Toilet Troubles: A toilet that frequently backs up, overflows, or doesn’t flush properly is a sign of a significant blockage.
  • Strange Fixture Reactions: Unusual behaviour from your plumbing fixtures, like water backing up in strange places or changes in water pressure, could mean a clog is affecting your entire plumbing system.

Investigating Slow Drains and Water Backup

So, what’s the root cause of slow drainage and water backups? It can take some investigation to find out.

Visual Inspection

Begin by checking the visible parts of your drains, sinks, and bathtubs. Look for any obvious signs of blockage, such as hair, soap scum, or food debris, that can be easily removed.

Don’t forget to peek into the overflow section of your sink or bathtub for any trapped materials.

Manual Testing

To make sure that you’re dealing with slow drainage, you can perform your own test. Fill your sink, bathtub, or shower with a small amount of water and watch how quickly (or slowly) it drains. For standing water issues, observe if the water remains without draining away.

These simple tests can help you identify if the problem is localised to one area or widespread throughout your home’s plumbing.

Identifying the Source of Unpleasant Drain Odours

Bad smells from your drains? Here’s how to find the source:

Organic Material Decay

Drains tend to trap organic materials like food scraps, hair, and soap residue. Over time, these elements break down and decay — a natural process that can, unfortunately, lead to unpleasant odours.

Regular cleaning can prevent these materials from accumulating and causing foul odours.

P-Trap Issues

The P-trap is the curved section of the pipe under your sink, designed to hold water and block sewer gases from entering your home. If it dries out, leaks, or is improperly installed, it can fail at its job and let unpleasant smells escape.

Ensuring that your P-trap is correctly installed and always contains water can be a simple fix to avoid these odours in your home.

Interpreting Gurgling Sounds and Plumbing Reactions

Unusual noises and reactions from your plumbing can be annoying and stressful. Here’s what they might mean:

Air Bubbles

Gurgling sounds often result from air bubbles trapped in your pipes. When there’s a blockage, water struggles to pass through, forcing air ahead of it and creating a gurgling noise as it escapes through your sink, toilet, or shower drain.

This symptom is a clear sign that a clog is disrupting the normal flow of water and air through your pipes.

Plumbing System Connection

Your home’s plumbing is a network that’s connected in more ways than you might realise. A blockage in one area can lead to unusual reactions elsewhere, such as toilets bubbling when you run the sink or water backing up in unexpected places.

These signs show that a blockage is affecting the overall functionality of your plumbing system, calling for a comprehensive solution.

DIY Methods for Clearing a Blocked Drain

Clearing a blocked drain doesn’t always require professional help — but if you ever need it, The Relining Company is just a phone call away!

Here are some DIY methods you can try:

Plunging Techniques

For minor blockages, a good plunge can be effective. Make sure you have a tight seal around the plunger’s edge, and use vigorous up-and-down motions to create enough pressure to dislodge the blockage.

For double sinks, seal off the second drain to maximise the pressure.

Natural Cleaners

A mix of backing soda and vinegar can work wonders for cleaning minor clogs and freshening your drain. Start by pouring some hot water down the drain. Then, pour half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of vinegar down the drain.

Cover it to contain the fizzing action, wait 10–15 minutes, then flush it out with hot water.

Drain Snakes

For more stubborn clogs, a hand-operated drain snake can reach deeper into the pipes.

Feed the tool down the drain until you hit the blockage, then turn the handle to break it up or pull it out.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

Sometimes, a blocked drain requires expert attention. Here’s how to know when it’s time to call in the pros.

Assessing the Severity

If DIY methods fail to clear the blockage or if the issue keeps coming back, it’s a sign that the problem may be deeper or more severe than anticipated.

Water backing up in places it shouldn’t or multiple fixtures being affected are clear signs that it’s time to call a professional plumbing service.

Professional Tools and Techniques

The Relining Company uses state-of-the-art tools and techniques, like high-pressure jet blasters and CCTV drain cameras, to accurately diagnose and resolve complex plumbing issues.

These methods are far more effective and less invasive than traditional digging methods.

The Benefits of Expertise

Opting for a professional not only saves you time and effort but also makes sure the job is done safely and efficiently.

The Relining Company are your 24/7 plumbing experts. Our long-term solutions will help prevent future blockages and protect your home from water damage.

Two men clearing the blocked sewer lines Sydney

Preventive Measures to Keep Your Drains Clear

Maintaining clear drains is much easier than fixing blockages. Schedule routine cleaning to keep drains free from build-up. This includes natural methods like hot water flushes, which can help dissolve minor clogs and grease accumulations.

Be mindful of what goes down your drain. Avoid disposing of cooking oil, coffee grounds, and food scraps in the sink. In the bathroom, use hair catchers to prevent hair and soap scum from clogging the shower and bathtub drains.

Regular checks by a professional can catch problems that you might miss. The Relining Company offers inspections that can identify potential issues early on, saving you from costly repairs later.

These assessments are especially beneficial for older homes or if you’ve experienced repeated blockages.

Seal the Deal on Drain Health

Recognising and quickly tackling blocked drains will help you maintain a healthy, hassle-free plumbing system in your home.

The Relining Company, your expert in all things plumbing, is ready to solve any issues with our advanced solutions. Whether you’re facing immediate blockages or looking to prevent future problems, our team is available 24/7 to make sure your drains remain clear.

Don’t let drain troubles disrupt your life. Get in touch with The Relining Company today for expert assistance and peace of mind.

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